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Press Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

Contact: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Phone: 337-266-8655
Fax: 337-266-8541
For Release: March 2, 2004

Louisiana Wildlife Federation Names Bob Stewart Professional Conservationist of the Year

Dr. Bob Stewart Professional Conservationist of the year
Bob Stewart, on right, director of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, La., receives an award for the Professional Conservationist of the Year from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, from Joe Herring, president of the federation.

Robert E. Stewart, Jr., Director of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, was named "Professional Conservationist" of the year by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.

According to federation Executive Director Randy Lanctot, the award was "for developing and guiding the nation’s premier wetlands research facility and lending its expertise to better understand and preserve wetland resources."

The federation cited Bob for his involvement in inventorying wetlands throughout the United States and documenting their extent, values and rates of loss. They noted his use of computer technology, remote sensing and geographic information systems to guide that work. The federation recognized that the center's dramatic map images and wetlands loss statistics have caught the public’s attention. They added that through "his vision and persistence, the National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was authorized in 1989 and was dedicated in 1992. Under Stewart’s direction, the NWRC has become a world leader in wetlands science and a vital asset in Louisiana’s coastal restoration effort."

The federation identified Stewart’s demeanor as positive, enthusiastic and "key to his success in creating the collaborations that are a hallmark of the NWRC work, and in getting the support necessary to build its capacity." They added that in 2003 Stewart brought high-level federal officials to Louisiana and engaged them in understanding coastal wetlands loss and restoration needs.

Finally, the federation stated that under Stewart's direction the National Wetlands Research Center in 2003 has:

  • provided technical support for the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study and Coastal Restoration Planning Protection and Restoration Act projects;
  • continued research and related publication of findings on the “brown marsh” salt marsh dieback;
  • enhanced collaboration on the concept of carbon sequestration as an incentive for the restoration of forested wetlands; studied the impact of invasive species on native habitats;
  • provided technical support for conservation efforts in the Lower Mississippi Valley;
  • and partnered with the Caddo Lake and Red River Watershed Management Institutes to provide science support, technical training and education assistance.

The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a non-profit conservation, education and advocacy organization with 13,000 members in the State. It is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation.

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